New research from the cloud communications company found a 300% increase for video chat preference since January 2020
Cloud communications and contact centre company Vonage has announced the results of a new study into how consumers are engaging with companies in the COVID-19 era.
The 10th Global Customer Engagement Report is based on a survey of 5,000 consumers from 14 countries and looked into how the pandemic has accelerated adoption of new communications channels.
The report found customer engagement had permanently changed, with the use of digital channels such as video, chatbots, and SMS messaging apps growing considerably. Indeed, 47% of consumers reported increasing their use of digital channels to engage with businesses over the past 12-18 months, with 87% expecting to either maintain or increase that level in the near future.
Video chat experienced a particular boost, with consumer preference for the technology increasing by 300% since January 2020, while messaging app preference doubled.
That’s backed up by research from Metrigy published last year in its 2020-21 Cost-Benefit Analysis: Workplace Collaboration study, which found that 46.3% of organisations said video reduces travel, 29.4% said it reduces the time it takes to hire new employees, and 34.2% said it increases sales.
Among the other key findings were that:
“COVID-19 has fundamentally changed how businesses operate and how consumers interact with those organizations,” said Joy Corso, Chief Marketing Officer for Vonage. “Our research shows that digital channels have rapidly emerged alongside traditional methods of communication, with sharp and sustained growth in video, chatbots, app-based messaging and calling, while email and traditional voice calls remain relatively status quo.
“This underscores the need to connect with and engage with customers in multiple ways, in their preferred modality. We are in an age where customers expect ultra-fast, seamless and dynamic communications and engagement.”
Vonage introduced its own API for multiparty video calls back in September, with Video Express reducing the amount of time needed to integrate video into an application.
“Our goal is to democratise video. Every web developer should also be able to easily integrate video without knowing the configurations required for bit-rates, resolution, and bandwidth,” said Savinay Berry, EVP, Product and Engineering, Vonage, at the time.